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BMO Financial Group gives $2.5 million to Campaign for Concordia for student internships and financial literacy

New gift in honour of L. Jacques Ménard to boost research and learning via new Centre for Capital Markets and Fine Arts Internship Program
March 30, 2021

BMO Financial Group is supporting next-gen teaching and learning for students at Concordia through a major gift to the university’s John Molson School of Business and Faculty of Fine Arts.

BMO is giving $2.5-million to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen. Now to establish the L. Jacques Ménard–BMO Centre for Capital Markets and the BMO Fine Arts Internship Program.

The late L. Jacques Ménard, C.C., G.O.Q., BComm 67, LLD 06, chancellor of Concordia from 2011 to 2014, was also president emeritus of BMO Financial Group, Quebec.

“Our university is immensely grateful to BMO Financial Group for investing in our Campaign for Concordia and honouring the extraordinary contributions of our late chancellor, L. Jacques Ménard,” says Concordia President Graham Carr.

“To achieve our community’s full potential, we need generous donors who match our passion and ambition. The creation of the BMO Centre for Capital Markets will train the next generation of financial professionals, while the BMO Fine Arts Internship Program will offer experiential learning for tomorrow’s creative talent.”

WATCH: Concordia President Graham Carr on BMO’s generous gift.


“Long before BMO declared our Purpose – to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life – Jacques Ménard was living it. A proud Concordia alumnus, his legacy endures today at BMO, engrained in the way we work: growing businesses and communities for a thriving economy, and supporting the access to high-quality education that helps young people develop careers and fosters creativity,” says Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group.

Claude Gagnon, President, BMO Financial Group, Quebec, says Ménard’s impact as a humanitarian and executive inspired the gift: “BMO is supporting business education and fine arts practice for the benefit of students and the organizations that hire them.”

The L. Jacques Ménard–BMO Centre for Capital Markets will provide students an education grounded in theory and practice. The Centre will develop future finance professionals and drive scholarly research on the challenges faced by the industry.

“The L. Jacques Ménard – BMO Centre for Capital Markets fully supports our strategic imperative to promote collaborative and impactful research, as outlined in the school’s newly adopted strategic plan,” says Anne-Marie Croteau, dean of the John Molson School of Business.

Annual BMO Fine Arts Internships will allow standout undergraduate students in Art History, Film Studies, Film Production and Film Animation, Design and Computational Arts, or Studio Arts an opportunity to acquire experience with external organizations. Stipends for student internships will be remunerated thanks to the BMO Fine Arts Internships to help cultural organizations thrive.

“The BMO Fine Arts Internship Program will offer invaluable professional experience to gifted undergraduate students at museums, cultural festivals, exhibition spaces, community theatres, arts and entertainment groups, artist-run centres and more,” says Annie Gérin, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Paul Chesser, vice-president of Advancement at Concordia, says L. Jacques Ménard took pride in Concordia’s roots and our university’s role in educating the next generation.

“Jacques dedicated his professional life to BMO — like many of the 700 Concordia grads who work for the company — and it is heartening that BMO is honouring Jacques’ legacy at both our institutions,” says Chesser. “We are grateful that BMO has generously given to the Campaign for Concordia in honour of Jacques’ legacy.”

The family of L. Jacques Ménard adds: “We thank BMO, Darryl White and Claude Gagnon, friends and cherished collaborators. We thank Concordia University as well, an institution so dear to his heart. We are deeply grateful for this act of generosity made in his memory.”

About L. Jacques Ménard

L. Jacques Ménard, C.C., G.O.Q., BComm 67, LLD 06

L. Jacques Ménard graduated with a bachelor’s of commerce degree from Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, in 1967.

He joined Concordia’s Board of Governors in 1994 and played a vital role in the university’s Campaign for a New Millennium from 1996 to 1999. He was Concordia’s 1999 Loyola Medal recipient and named one of 40 Great Concordians in 2014.

Ménard served as chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and president of BMO Financial Group, Quebec. He was also chairman of Hydro-Québec and Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos.

He received numerous honours including: Officer of the Order of Canada (2000), Companion of the Order of Canada (2012), Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), Officer of the Ordre national du Québec (2010), Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec (2017), Commander and Great Montrealer to the Order of Montreal (2016).

His mantra was: “Education is the key to our future.”

Ménard died on February 4, 2020, at the age of 74. He was survived by his wife, Marie-José Ratelle, and their two children, Louis-Simon and Anne-Valérie.


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